Emily Harris

International Correspondent Emily Harris is based in Jerusalem as part of NPR's Mideast team. Her post covers news related to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. She began this role in March of 2013.

Over her career, Harris has served in multiple roles within public media. She first joined NPR in 2000, as a general assignment reporter. A prolific reporter often filing two stories a day, Harris covered major stories including 9/11 and its aftermath, including the impact on the airline industry; and the anthrax attacks. She also covered how policies set in Washington are implemented across the country.

In 2002, Harris worked as a Special Correspondent on NOW with Bill Moyer, focusing on investigative storytelling. In 2003 Harris became NPR's Berlin Correspondent, covering Central and Eastern Europe. In that role, she reported regularly from Iraq, leading her to be a key member of the NPR team awarded a 2005 Peabody Award for coverage of the region.

Harris left NPR in December 2007 to become a host for a live daily program, Think Out Loud, on Oregon Public Broadcasting. Under her leadership Harris's team received three back to back Gracie Awards for Outstanding Talk Show, and a share in OPB's 2009 Peabody Award for the series "Hard Times." Harris's other awards include the RIAS Berlin Commission's first-place radio award in 2007 and second-place in 2006. She was a John S. Knight fellow at Stanford University in 2005-2006.

A seasoned reporter, she was asked to help train young journalist through NPR's "Next Generation" program. She also served as editorial director for Journalism Accelerator, a project to bring journalists together to share ideas and experiences; and was a writer-in-residence teaching radio writing to high school students.

One of the aspects of her work that most intrigues her is why people change their minds and what inspires them to do so.

Outside of work, Harris has drafted a screenplay about the Iraq war and for another project is collecting stories about the most difficult parts of parenting.

She has a B.A. in Russian Studies from Yale University.

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The Salt
5:39 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Making Cheese In The Land Of The Bible: Add Myrrh And A Leap Of Faith

A Palestinian Bedouin girl milks a sheep in her family's makeshift camp in the West Bank. Herders live close to their animals, their main source of income.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 8:56 am

In spring, West Bank almond trees bloom white. Dry brown hills turn temporarily green and are dotted with bright wildflowers. The ewes and nanny goats of Bedouin herders that wander the West Bank eat well this time of year.

It's cheese season.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

After Netanyahu Win, What's Next For Israel Still Unknown

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 4:27 pm

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Middle East
3:38 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Netanyahu Emerges With Victory In Israeli Election

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 10:23 am

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Politics
3:19 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Netanyahu Hopes To Win 4th Term In Israeli Election

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 6:18 pm

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Middle East
3:59 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu Faces A Big Test As Israelis Head To Polls

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 7:24 am

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Middle East
5:53 am
Sun March 15, 2015

Netanyahu Maintains Focus On Iran As His Voter Support Falls

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 9:03 am

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Parallels
11:27 am
Thu March 12, 2015

The West Bank Battle For Land ... And Water

The Bedouin camp has a black plastic water tank near a school built from mostly mud and tires.
Emily Harris/NPR

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 11:45 am

On Moshav Na'ama, a big Israeli farm in the West Bank inside the wide Jordan Valley, Inon Rosenblum raises fresh herbs for export.

He hires Palestinians to work the fields and pack the crops. The farm is 300 feet below sea level, a desert climate where irrigation is mandatory. Rosenblum won't say exactly how much water he uses, or exactly where it comes from.

"From wells," he says. "In the mountains." Then he changes the subject.

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Politics
2:38 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

In Israeli Election, Arab Sportscaster Runs On Ticket Of Mainstream Jewish Party

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 6:07 pm

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Politics
2:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

'Zionist Union' Party Creates A Stir In Israeli Elections

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 4:55 pm

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Parallels
5:51 am
Thu March 5, 2015

In Israel, A Vote To Choose A Leader And An Identity

Shoppers walk through a market in downtown Jerusalem last November, shortly before Israel's coalition government collapsed. As Israel prepares for elections on March 17, the diverse population has very different notions of what the country should look like.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 11:58 am

Israel's March 17 election is two years earlier than it should be, thanks to the collapse of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government in December. Contributing to the breakup was an impassioned debate over whether a stronger legal emphasis on the country's Jewish character would ultimately make Israel less democratic.

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Middle East
3:16 am
Wed March 4, 2015

How Jewish Should Israel Be? 2 Israelis Voters Have Answers

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 5:52 am

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Parallels
6:44 am
Sun March 1, 2015

In Israel, Jewish Divorce Is Granted Only By Husband's Permission

In Gett, the character Viviane Ansalem wants a divorce but her husband will not give permission. In Israel, if you're Jewish, even if you're not religious, you have to be divorced by Jewish law.
Courtesy Music Box Films

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:07 pm

In Israel, religious law governs family matters.

For a Jewish divorce, an Orthodox rabbi oversees a ritual that begins with the husband placing a folded decree, called a get or gett, into the wife's cupped hands. But that paper can be hard to obtain, because the husband can refuse to grant the divorce.

A new Israeli film playing in the U.S. shows how patriarchal Jewish divorce laws can trap even secular women for years.

The film is a drama called Gett: The Trial of Viviane Ansalem. Viviane wants a divorce but needs her husband's permission.

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Middle East
2:38 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Israeli Candidate Made A Name For Himself By Slashing Cell Phone Rates

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 4:40 pm

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Middle East
3:08 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Israel Beefs Up Plans To Help European Jews Move To Israel

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 5:57 am

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Middle East
3:09 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Arab-Israeli Parties Join Forces In Upcoming Israeli Election

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 7:09 am

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World
3:36 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Israeli Soldiers Killed In Renewed Fighting With Hezbollah

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
6:42 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Netanyahu Speech To Congress Is High-Risk, High-Reward, Analysts Say

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress about Iran on March 3. The White House was not consulted on the invitation.
Oded Balilty AP

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:50 pm

The Obama administration's rocky relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got rockier this week, and Israelis are watching the spat nervously.

In the president's state of the union speech Tuesday, he asked Congress to allow more time for nuclear talks with Iran before imposing any new sanctions.

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Parallels
3:21 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

French Immigrants To Israel Bring Part Of Home With Them

An estimated 400 new French Jewish immigrants attended a welcoming ceremony after arriving on a flight from France to Tel Aviv, Israel in July 2014.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 9:39 pm

French Jews, often with roots in North Africa, have been immigrating to Israel since that country's founding. The community has changed with the times, and after last week's attacks in Paris, is expected to grow — and change — again.

Samuela Mass left Paris in October last year. The 28-year-old French Jew came to Israel for a better life for him and his future family — and to escape violence.

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Middle East
3:15 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Paris Attack Resonates With Israelis As More French Jews Move To Israel

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:01 am

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Parallels
10:20 am
Thu December 25, 2014

After 522 Years, Spain Seeks To Make Amends For Expulsion Of Jews

Children gather outside the El Transito synagogue and Sephardic Museum in Toledo, Spain. Founded in 1357, the synagogue was converted into a church following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. Spain is now preparing to pass a law that would allow descendants of the expelled Jews to receive Spanish citizenship.
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 7:21 am

As night fell recently over the Spanish city of Toledo, Hanukkah candles lit up empty streets outside the medieval El Transito synagogue.

Folk songs in Ladino — a blend of Spanish and Hebrew — wafted across the garden of the synagogue, which is now the Sephardic Museum.

Sefarad means Spain in Hebrew, and the term refers to Jews of Spanish descent.

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Parallels
3:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Celebrating Hanukkah In A Palestinian City

Wolf celebrated Hanukkah in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank last year. As the holiday approached, she felt lonely, until her Palestinian host mother and a few neighbors came to watch her light candles on her portable tin menorah and hear her explain the holiday story.
Courtesy of Amelia Wolf

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:56 am

Amelia Wolf, an American Jewish college student, was living in the Palestinian city of Ramallah when the holiday of Hanukkah rolled around last year.

She liked the Palestinian family that was hosting her in the West Bank, but she felt a little lonely. She wasn't going to celebrate in Israel, where she had friends and relatives, as she had other Jewish holidays.

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Parallels
2:28 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

In Gaza, The Specter Of ISIS Proves Useful To Both Sides

The Islamist group Hamas, shown here in a rally in the Gaza Strip on Dec. 12, is the strongest faction in the Gaza Strip. The Islamic State, or ISIS, is not believed to be in the territory, though fliers purporting to be from the group have circulated in Gaza. They are widely believed to be fake, but both Israel and Hamas have tried to use them to their advantage.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:15 pm

Earlier this month, more than a dozen writers, poets and activists in Gaza got threatening fliers signed with the name ISIS, the Sunni extremists fighting with brutal violence in Iraq and Syria.

But a few days later, a new flier, also signed ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, denied responsibility and apologized.

The incident is raising the question of whether ISIS is taking root in Gaza — or if someone is just playing around.

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All Tech Considered
7:57 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Gaza Tech Hub Finds Success In International Crowdfunding

Gaza Sky Geeks, a startup accelerator, is drawing interest and crowdfunding from around the region and the world.
Gaza Sky Geeks

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 2:23 pm

People in Gaza are getting impatient with the slow pace of rebuilding. International donors pledged $5.4 billion to help, but little of the money has made it to Gaza yet.

A Gaza tech startup accelerator has gone a different route — international crowdfunding.

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Parallels
6:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Just Under The Surface, Palestinian Rivals Remain Bitterly Divided

A Palestinian with a green headband, which identifies him as a Hamas supporters, helps a fellow protester with a black-and-white scarf, the symbol of the Fatah movement. They were both taking part in a demonstration near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 4. The factions agreed to end their feud earlier this year, but many of their supporters remain bitter rivals.
Majdi Mohammed AP

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 12:21 pm

Three months after the Gaza Strip war between Hamas and Israel, reconstruction of destroyed homes and businesses has hardly started. Part of the problem is the lack of clear Palestinian government authority on the ground.

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Parallels
1:52 am
Thu December 11, 2014

'People Are Going To Rebel': Slow Pace Of Rebuilding Frustrates Gazans

Men load bags of cement from a warehouse in Gaza. Under a complicated system meant to prevent militants from getting cement to use for tunnels, Palestinians must get approval from home inspectors to buy just one sack.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:31 am

Angry men crowded outside the Beautiful Tower Co. for Trade and Contracting in Gaza City last week. They wanted to pay for cement, but the man at the door would let in only one person at a time.

Everyone pushing for a turn had been authorized through a complicated monitoring system endorsed by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations to buy materials to fix war-damaged homes. The system is meant to stop militants from getting cement to use for tunnels and even requires Palestinians to get prior approval from home inspectors to buy a single sack of cement.

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The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

6 Arrested For Looting Antiquities From Israel's 'Cave Of The Skulls'

An Israeli Antiquities Authority Prevention of Antiquities Robbery officer stands at the opening to a high cave in the Judean desert. Six men were indicted Sunday for looting from this cave.
Israel Antiquities Authority

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:43 am

Israel's Antiquities Authority Sunday announced it had indicted six men accused of stealing antiquities and destroying archaeological sites in the southern Judean Desert — the same desert where the Dead Sea Scrolls — religious texts dating from the third century BC — were found.

The announcement also revealed a connection to the ancient world: They had lice combs, too. The Antiquities Authority released a photo of what it says is a 2000-year-old lice comb captured along with the men.

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World
2:29 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Israel In Political Upheaval — Two Years Ahead Of Schedule

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 8:34 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Middle East
3:31 am
Tue December 2, 2014

In Israel, A Clash Over What The Nation Is And Who It's For

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:44 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
3:10 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Jordanians Weigh Risks And Rewards Of Being A Close U.S. Ally

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 5:16 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
2:23 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

Israel Is A Homeland For Jewish People — But Is It A Jewish State?

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 5:12 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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